A candidate running for Nye County sheriff was arrested last week on charges of impersonating a police officer and resisting arrest.
But the candidate, who was released on bail, said Wednesday the arrest was unjust and “politically motivated.”
According to a press release from the Nye County sheriff’s office, Ted Holmes, 56, was arrested Friday after he flashed a badge at an out-of-state police officer on business at the Pahrump Nugget.
Holmes told the man he could be arrested because his gun and badge were visible, the release said.
Holmes doesn’t deny the encounter at the casino took place. He contends the situation escalated because the out-of-state officer didn’t identify himself. Holmes said he identified himself as a retired officer by flashing his badge and told the man he could be arrested for impersonating a police officer.
His own badge says “retired” on it, Holmes said.
Holmes said he initiated the exchange because he didn’t recognize the man and was curious about where the officer was from.
“As far as I’m concerned, I broke no law,” he said. “This was all politically motivated and a set up.”
Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo is running for a third term. Holmes, who said he is retired from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in California, ran for sheriff in 2006 and lost in the primary.
DeMeo has removed himself from the investigation to avoid the appearance of any political motive, said Nye County Assistant Sheriff Richard Marshall.
Police obtained a warrant for Holmes’ wallet, according to the news release, and Holmes “obstructed and resisted” detectives’ efforts. Holmes contends he would never resist arrest because he is a retired officer.
The encounter with Nye County police took place at a hangar at the Calvada Meadows Airport. Holmes said he was working on a helicopter.
Holmes said he believed a police union official was meeting him there to endorse him. Instead, police who arrived at the hangar told him that was a ruse, he said.
Holmes said police never showed him the warrant.
Marshall said that claim is “absolutely untrue.”
Marshall said that police had no intention of arresting Holmes, but he refused to give up his badge and even walked toward a shotgun in the hangar. Police restrained Holmes, who fought them. He stopped resisting when an officer grabbed a Taser, Marshall said.
Marshall said police did use a ruse to set up a meeting with Holmes.
The out-of-state officer was from Indiana, Marshall said. He was brought to Pahrump to testify in two criminal cases. When an official with the district attorney’s office picked up the Indiana officer at the Nugget, the officer told the official what had happened. Police then began an investigation based on the request from the district attorney, Marshall said.
“The entire circumstances were dictated by Ted Holmes,” Marshall said. “From when he first confronted the out-of-state officer to when he failed to comply with the officers’ demands.”
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@review journal.com or 702-383-4638.